If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
In an era when most work conferences are taking place over zoom, webcams have gone from a neat accessory to an absolute necessity.
The difference between a 1080P (full HD) and 4K webcam is that these newer models can broadcast video at twice the resolution. Viewers will be able to see you in much more vivid detail, which will look a lot more professional. The sensors in 4K webcams are also designed to handle unfavorable situations (think dim rooms) and compensate for them.
If you’re frustrated at looking grainy on video calls with your colleagues, a 4K camera is the easiest way to solve that problem.
What Are the Best 4K Webcams?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best 4K webcam for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Microphones: Most of our 4K webcam recommendations have built-in microphones, which will be an improvement over the ones built into your computer or headphones.
Compatibility: Every 4K webcam in this guide can connect to a PC or Mac using a USB cable, and will work with any video conferencing or streaming program. If you use particular streaming apps, or want to access a camera’s advanced settings, you may need to download a free piece of software from the company’s site.
Security: It’s unlikely that your 4K webcam will be hacked, but we made sure our recommendations come from reputable companies. Some have extra privacy-focused features like a physical cover.
Internet Connection: All of the webcams in this guide can broadcast video in 4K, but you’ll need an ultra fast internet connection if you want to stream at ultra high resolutions.
1. Elecom 4K Webcam
Elecom’s 4K Webcam packs an impressive set of features into one of the smallest webcams we’ve tested, and it’s an essential upgrade for anyone working from home or distance learning.
In our tests, Elecom’s webcam performed brilliantly. Its video quality was uniformly excellent, with accurate color recreation and silky smooth motion capture. The camera’s noise and light correction did a good job in challenging conditions — think basement with no windows — and the auto focus actually worked.
One feature that stood out immediately was the camera’s auto-tracking, which kept us in frame as we moved around. The camera’s high resolution sensor allowed it to make intelligent decisions when cropping to keep the video quality consistent. We were also surprised by the camera’s microphones, which picked up a fair amount of detail. You may not use this feature if you video conference using headphones, but it’s nice to have.
Finally, we like that Elecom bundles its 4K webcam with a physical privacy shade, which ensures it won’t create any accidental recordings. Overall, we couldn’t find any major fault with Elecom’s 4K webcam, which easily justifies its more premium price. If you’re on more than one or two video calls a week, this camera should be in your home office.
2. Logitech Brio
We’ve had a chance to test the Logitech Brio for an extended period of time, and it’s still one of the best 4K webcam you can get right now.
While its high resolution sensor is the star of the show, it’s complimented by key features like support for HDR (high dynamic range), a video technology that makes colors look more accurate. The Brio supports a Logitech technology called RightLight 3, which compensates for poor lighting conditions, and actually works well.
When the light shifts in your room unexpectedly, you’ll be able to see a difference. Its autofocus system works well enough to keep you looking sharp during video calls, but it can get a little confused if you shift suddenly from the foreground to the background.
This 4K webcam’s stereo microphones are so good, we’ve begun relying on them during video calls even when we’re wearing headphones — the audio is that clear. They also support noise cancellation, so ambient sounds won’t creep into your recordings.
You can connect the Logitech Brio to your computer using a USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to USB-A cable, which ensures maximum compatibility. It works perfectly out of the box, but if you want to get into nitty gritty details like using its 5X zoom feature to create the perfect crop, you’ll need Logitech’s free Capture app.
Logitech’s webcams have raised the bar for years, and the Brio continues this streak by making it easy to broadcast high quality video with as little effort as possible.
3. NexiGo N950 Pro
Nexigo’s N950 Pro is an easy to use 4K webcam with advanced security features.
It has a physical privacy shutter, which you can use to block the camera’s lens when it’s not in use. This guarantees nobody will be able to record video of you while the camera is plugged in. Unplugging a webcam can be inconvenient, and putting tape over it can damage the lens, so this physical cover is a great solution.
Another clever feature is the N950 Pro’s physical zoom button, which you can push to get a tighter crop. You can switch between 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, and 5X magnifications in a matter of seconds without having to install any additional software. You also have the option to frame your picture using digital zoom and software.
These two features help Nexigo’s N950 Pro stick out, but the 4K webcam has stereo noise-reduction microphones, and a compact design. The only video feature we miss is light correction, which isn’t present here. You can connect Nexigo’s webcam to your computer using a USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to USB-A cable on a PC or Mac.
If you’re very cautious about your digital privacy and security, Nexigo’s N950 is the 4K webcam we recommend.
4. Mokose UC70
Mokose’s UC70 is a computer-ready 4K webcam with a classic camera design.
The cube-shaped camera has a six to 12 millimeter optical lens, which gives you supreme control over the crop on your shot. This is a manual focus system, though, so you won’t stay clear if you move around a lot.
The UC70 stands out because it’s really designed serious broadcasters. It doesn’t have features like autofocus or a built in microphone because you’re supposed to use it to find the perfect angle, and pair it with high end recording gear. The video quality you’ll be able to get from the UC70 is top notch, but you’ll have to work a little to get there. You have to operate several parts of this 4K webcam manually, but it does support auto white balancing, and its sensor can make on the fly adjustments if your lighting situation changes.
This 4K webcam can be connected to your computer’s USB-A port using the cable included in the box. Its USB connector is on the back, and a mount to attach it to a tripod is on the bottom.
If you come from the traditional camera world, you’ll find yourself right at home with the Mokose UC70. Anyone used to webcams that do a lot of the work for them will face a learning curve, but the video quality you’ll get is worth the effort.